• Member Since 17th Mar, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Cozy Mark IV


A ten page short:
What if all the magic we see in the show is exactly what it appears to be? Does that concept scare you? It should.
After a shocking discovery changes his life, a young griffon follows in the hoofprints of his childhood hero, and mounts an expedition deep into the frozen west.

Both 'The Brightest Shine' and 'Piracy' redirect here, and with good reason; read on and it will make sense.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 41 )

This is a very good story! I'm impressed with how far your writing skills have come since we met, and even though this particular story is scary and dark, I can still see how good you're going to be at writing stories for a little 'filly' or 'colt' of our own someday. :heart:

It all made sense with the ending line...
Brilliant stuff.

One thing to think of in terms of improving is to add a bit more description in how cold the place was. Ice layers on doors/windows, snowdrifts by the side of walls, how the cold cuts through the layers of fabric they wear, etc.

Still, favourited and upvoted.

Good story. I didn't figure it out until the end, although the ponies staring at something in the sky was obvious in hindsight. It's a little dark for my tastes too, but enjoyable.

Wow. Just, wow.

This reads like some of my early stuff. I mean that as a compliment, truly. Nice work with this story. The end caught me by surprise, very well done. I could see this as a longer story, but as this stands it's an excellent one shot. Thank YOU.

Very well written and very well thought out.You described the sense of exploration and the slowly mounting horror like a master, inducing it in the reader by merely showing things. This is one of the science fantasy and horror stories I have ever read.

This was brilliant, creepy, unsettling and a fantastic work
This is a story to be proud of
One like, check
One fav, check
You deserved them


That... was fucking terrifying and creepy and pure spine-tingling horror. Amazing, dude.

Genuine pony horror. You are an artist. The bizarre curiosity one feels in the beginning slowly grows into a feeling of dread. The stuff with the corpse-ghosts pointing at the sky is kind of campy (a reference to the Sig Heil?) but also very believable considering Luna/NMM's character. Holy shit I got chills. Congrats.

I came here from Sci-Fi Ponies. This makes a large part of my headcanon now. The Boiling Sea, the West Pole, the ice mining and the scarcity of ponies... It's like Antipodes, but hard sci-fi.

What, did you send me the message just to make me jealous? In all honesty though, this story is great! I wish I could write something like this. Oddly, it also made me want to go write a western. Not sure why.

I came here from your post in the Sci-Fi Ponies. And, well...
This is a stellar piece of work. You manage to build the sense of creepiness in a nice crescendo, starting with the dead city, then the corpses, then the "ghosts". And while it took me a bit (probably longer than it should have) to figure out the meaning of the final line, when I did, it made my day. Because this is what should happen if we integrate a scientific standpoint into the show.
Have a like and fav. You deserve it. :twilightsmile:

Dawned- donned
Medium- median

Gave me some shivers there, you did.
Second (or maybe third or fourth?) horror/creepy story I've read were a frigid desert area comes into play. An this takes a very original take on it too.
Brilliant stuff. Simply brilliant.

Two words: Too Short.

No character tags?

Here via Seattle's Angels. Congrats on the feature!

A few scattered thoughts on the story:

Given that this is an MLP fanfic and the premise is that the sun is fixed in the sky, there's no possible way to inject any suspense into the ending. Your readers are going to suck at the jawbreaker for 6,000 words and, surprise, what's left is going to be exactly the tiny sugary core we expected. That does not, however, stop this story from being a sweet experience as you digest it layer by layer. (So to speak. Okay, maybe this was a poorly thought analogy, what with the creeping horror and all.) In a way, I'm glad you didn't make this longer, because the longer you go, the more anticlimactic the final reveal is.

> Their laughter died on their lips as they followed his gaze.

I think you meant "beaks"? :trollestia:

The Actual Science of the story was appreciated, although I'm curious if you have a source for the empty eye socket dehydration thing. I'd think that when the body dies, the eyeballs would freeze just the same as the rest of it, and once frozen they would be no more susceptible to degradation than any other body part.

But the glacier scene, the travel, the discovery at the western pole … all outstanding. The pre-spoilered ending did not diminish the horror of the west's fate in any way. This is up there with The Writing On The Wall in the Deeply Creepy Pony Archaeology department. Well done.



Thank you for the kind words.:twilightsmile:

As to the science, I did what I could to make it accurate, and that isn't always pretty... (See upsetting link)

That is a picture of what happened in the real world when an Emperor Penguin got lost in a snow storm and walked away from the coast. There are no predators in the antarctic. Nothing has been disturbed and in the frozen cold decay takes a very long time.

Water can jump directly from a solid to a vapor (Sublimate) if the air is cold and dry enough, and that's what happened here.
There is a reason this story has a dark tag. :rainbowderp:

wow..... all i can say is wow. this story is simply fantastic i love the thought you put into the world and i'll definitely look at your other stories :pinkiehappy:

“This place tain't no city. 'Tis a tomb.” Knock whispered quietly.

Lord of the Rings reference? :D

I love the world and the ideas, as most who read this seem to. It's reminiscent of Lovecraft (in a good way) without being an outright clone of his style. But I still feel that it suffers from some basic flaws in pacing. Not sure if you welcome detailed criticism or not, so I'll just leave it at that.

There are a lot of things I like about this story. It takes possibly the most dead-tired premise in the fandom (I've seen variations on this premise literally dozens, probably hundreds of times--I probably read too much fanfiction), and... well, it doesn't breath new life into it, exactly, but it manages to be atmospheric and, dare I say, genuinely disturbing, despite traveling entirely over well-worn ground. The unobtrusive injection of actual cold-weather science was very welcome; it's informative and appropriate, giving the story an air of reality without seeming too intrusive. And the dry, detached writing style and deliberate vagueness give a very appropriate sense of foreboding, and make the horror bits towards the end shine by juxtaposing terse descriptions with vivid ideas.

My only complaint, in fact, is technical: you've got to figure out your commas. Seriously, there are some serious punctuation issues in this fic. That's "just" annoying and distracting when it breaks up a sentence in unnatural or obviously incorrect ways, but there are places in this story where poor technical writing is actively impeding easy comprehension. Lines like:

Knock, their mechanic asked. “What is it you expect to find, sir?”

are actually rather difficult to parse, especially since this is the introduction of the name, and it could (and was, by me) easily be mistaken for another character's name to whom he's speaking. I mean, assuming you forgot the quotation marks around "Knock" makes as much sense as assuming you forgot the comma after "mechanic" (and the word "asked should be followed by a comma, not a period, as long as we're stopped).

The punctuation's pretty much the only thing I didn't enjoy about this story, and it may seem like a minor thing (indeed, you nailed all the HARD parts of writing a story!), but when the issue is as pervasive as it is here... it's really, really noticeable. And as I said, in places it's literally ruining your prose. Please get a good editor to help you fix up the commas; this story is too good to have something dragging it down which is that easy to fix. There are plenty of groups here on FIMFiction dedicated specifically to helping authors get editing advice, and with just a little spit and polish, this story could truly shine.

Thanks for sharing this fic!


Despite all the information you pack into this short of a story, you still maintained an atmosphere of mystery throughout that made the end reveal strike like a punch in the gut. Very nice work.

I SO called that ending the minute they found the first corpses!

Wow...I am blown away. That really was something else, and I am not sure how to comment. I think I am going to stick with liked and faved. because I don't honestly think I can say anything appropriate.

Oh, what a wonderfully atmospheric tale of horror! You do a wonderful job of laying out the pieces bit by bit, and...

Oh dear... given that Babs (Noooo! Not Babs! :raritydespair: ) was actually interacting with Martin and crew, I gather these ghosts are not simply repeating some moment of ultimate horror locked in the past.

"All hail Nightmare Moon!"

This... is going to be one of those expeditions that are never heard from again, isn't it.


Actually? I always imagined that they made it home just fine with photo evidence of everything they found.

And obvious proof left behind from their visit...

That would be much much scarier. :rainbowderp:

Definitely get a Lovecraftian vibe from the whole of the work.

The initial exposition was truly enthralling, but I was personally disappointed when all of that narrative setup culminated in a somewhat lackluster ending. :twilightsheepish:

However, it is still an original and entertaining horror vignette. I was expecting Windigos, but that does just as well.

Sh:flutterrage:t This was great.

I very much liked this. The atmosphere, the realism lent to it by the use of hard science, and the creepy end reveal were all very well-used. Mostly I just like how much you explored in detail the implications of this premise despite a short word count.

This story kind of reminds me of Antipodes, but it's Antipodes if Antipodes were a horror story rather than an action-adventure or whatever else you might call it. And I think it's stronger for that, because for a post-apocalyptic fic, one of my main complaints about Antipodes was that it didn't often feel like one or really delve into and play with its setting much, which this did, in all the right ways.

Like 3357993 said before though (Hello, by the way, Chris! Didn't expect to see you here!), I did find fault with the grammar. Specifically commas. Whatever may have happened to the segment he quoted, there are still a few places in the current version of the fic where it feels like there should be commas and there aren't. So I'll second Chris's recommendation to find an editor to fix those mistakes. It's the only thing holding back the fic from crossing from good to excellent.

And on a final note, just how related to this fic is Piracy? You said that Frozen West is "part of a larger story" in the author's notes, but at a glance, the two don't really seem related. Neither is marked as a sequel to the other, neither description references the other, they have different characters and settings, and the fact that this story has an alternate universe tag while that one doesn't seems to suggest that they're not even in continuity. So what's the link, and is it worth my time to read as an expansion of this story?

Other than that, great story, and thank you for writing this.

Great piece of work. I'm okay with the fact that you 86-ed any propensity for dialogue and crammed all exposition and world building into three paragraphs, rushing the setting and characters so as to get to the rising action. Your rich, tight prose reflects the hardship and practicality of the protagonist's life, as well as the harsh beauty of the wilderness in which the story takes place, and it took me about one or two thousand words before I realize how much Jules Verne influence there was. Although I'm not a big fan of that kind of adventure tale, I must admit that the expedition's moments of discovery were very moving and profound. And after that, it really picked up emotionally! Got awfully scary, too.

If the CO2 snows out, that would starve the plants. It would also make Equus colder, but on the sunlit side, with eternal sun, it could still be warm. Equus has only 1 huge Hadley Cell.

Evidently, when The Mare in the Moon, NightMareMoon returned, she won.

Daring Do threw me off at first about the timeline, but maaaan.

Edit: Not sure what the deal is about the dry ice, though, since I don't think you can actually breathe the air anymore if N2 is condensing. Maybe there's some magitech they've got in their gear for that, though?

4932564 Glad you liked it :pinkiesmile:
Note: Dry ice (CO2) freezes at -78 C, Nitrogen turns liquid at -196 C, and Oxygen liquefies at -182 C

4933506 Ohh, there we go. That makes far more sense, thanks.

I liked the story. :twilightsmile:

I just realized that this story misses CharacterTags:

Babs Seed

The Mare In The Moon, NightMareMoon


Wonderful! Reads like a Clive Cussler novel in places. Added to Triumphant Villains, etc.

I wanted to like this, but the many meandering sentences actively damage comprehension and immersion. I know 3357993 and 4017406 already mentioned this, but unlike them it ruined the story for me. I got ~1500 words in before I couldn't continue.

The first paragraph, even the first sentence, puts this problem on full display. Something like;

One of the family's hired ponies had a chest of old books that had been in her family for more generations than she could remember, and though the pages were brittle and faded with great age, the story they told about the adventures of a mare called 'Daring Do' inspired his imagination with fantastic tales of adventures in some other world.

Changes subjects too often. It mentions no less than four different subjects and switches between them without warning ("One of the family's hired ponies", "the pages", "the adventures", "his imagination").

There's a lot of information in this story, but it is presented badly. There is atmosphere here, but it is hampered by the sentence construction and way information is delivered. I know this was written a long time ago, but I also skimmed your most recent story and noticed some of the same problem;

All the other bands to lose had faced the same fate and given up, and their own band “The Raging Fractals” had seen to one such case personally, but now in round two it was their turn to bow out.

It can be tempting to cram a lot of information in a short space to get it out of the way, but that also makes it harder to parse and understand. In the future, whenever you have a long sentence, take a look at each of its parts. Do they all discuss the same thing? Are there shifts that need commas? Would those commas work better as periods? As an example of what I mean, here's one way you could adjust the sentence from earlier;

One of the family's hired ponies had a chest of old books that had been in her family for more generations than she could remember. Age had faded and cracked the pages; every turn or motion made a small piece flake off. The story they told, however, shone through transcended that. They told the adventures of a mare called 'Daring Do', a treasure-hunting archeologist. It inspired his imagination with fantastic tales of adventures in some other world.

This is just an example, of course, but hopefully it illustrates my point. Each individual idea has more room to breathe and be digested. It makes the sentiments a little longer, but it also makes them easier to follow.

There are some good ideas in this story, and there's a lot of nice detail and atmosphere. The awkward sentence structure just ruined it for me.

Both 'The Brightest Shine' and 'Piracy' redirect here

But...they don't. Does Fimfiction even allow redirects?

8029756 Sorry, I mean they reference and link to this story in narrative.

I just had a dream about this story :applejackunsure:

This actually reminds me of Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket if only in bits. Not sure though if I like the way the different parts of the story work together. Like, first you have hard sci-fi vibes of a strange world 1,000 years into the future and a perilous journey to unearth secrets past and mysterious lands no hoof stepped upon for generations, and suddenly the story’s a Carpenter’s Thing and while keeping the previously established setting completely foregoes scientific adventure for semi-fantastic horror. Nevertheless, the story has left me rather satisfied with what it does the right way.

This was an exceptional bit of horror.

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